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April 18, 2019: New York Passes Mandatory Green Roof Legislation

on April 18, 2019 at 4:55 pm under , , ,

Javits Convention Center. Image: Aramis Velazquez

Historic Passing of The Climate Mobilization Act in New York City – Green Roofs Required on New Buildings

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities shares the historic win for all New Yorkers as well as the larger green infrastructure community: Today, April 18, 2019 at 1:30 pm EST time the New York City Council passed The Climate Mobilization Act, a suite of measures to reduce greenhouse gases released from buildings in New York City, including a requirement for green roofs and/or solar panels on newly constructed buildings.

Climate Mobilization Act

Brooklyn Grange. Image: Linda Velazquez

Ambitious Energy Efficiency Bill Includes Greenroofs

The package of bills includes three pieces of legislation from New York City Council members Rafael Espinal, Donovan Richards and Stephen Levin.

“For the past two years Green Roofs for Healthy Cities has been advocating for new measures to grow the green roof market in New York City, and we are very pleased with the passage of this new legislation”, said Steven W. Peck, GRP, Honorary ASLA, Founder and President, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. “New York now joins cities like Denver, San Francisco, Toronto and Portland, Oregon in making green roofs a requirement.” he added. “Through direct lobbying efforts from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities members and other partners, New York City will quickly become a leader in reducing the effects of climate change from its buildings. Thanks to all of the individuals involved!” he added.

Rafael Espinal, NYC Council Member, 37th District, who has been at the forefront of this push for a greener New York City said,

“Today, we are passing a bill that won’t just make our skyline prettier – it will also improve the quality of life for New Yorkers for generations to come. My legislation will require green roofs to be installed on new residential and commercial buildings, making New York the largest city in the nation to pass such a law. We’ve already seen the revolutionary benefits of green roofs in action thanks to places around the city like Brooklyn Steel, the Barclays Center, the Javits Center, the USPS Morgan Processing and Distribution Center, and many others. They cool down cities by mitigating Urban Heat Island Effect, cut energy costs, absorb air pollution, reduce storm-water runoff, promote biodiversity, provide sound-proofing, and make our cities more livable for all.”

“I want to thank the advocates who were instrumental in pushing this forward, Council Members Donovan Richards and Stephen Levin for partnering with me on this effort, and Speaker Johnson for his leadership. These bills show that New York will not be idle in the face of an existential threat like climate change. At a time when the federal government is taking us backward, it is up to cities to lead us into a sustainable future. The time to act is now.”

Climate Mobilization Act

Kingsland Wildflower Rooftop. Image: Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof & Community Space

The Climate Mobilization Act covers eight initiatives and two resolutions, among which includes:

Int. 1031 – Green Roof Information
Int. 1032 – Green Roofs for New Construction
Res. 66 – Green Roof Tax Abatement increase

The Climate Mobilization Act is the largest single act to cut climate pollution of any city. In a densely packed metropolitan of over seven million residents, commercial and residential buildings are the largest source of emissions and sit at the center of the policy change. The Act will set emission caps with the goal of reducing emissions by 2030. Depending on the size and property assessments of the buildings, owners will be able to meet targets, ranging from a cut of emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 for larger buildings. Smaller buildings will reduce emissions in more modest measures.

Intro 1253

New York Communities for Change (NYCC, a local grassroots organization “uniting neighborhoods in the fight for social and economic justice!”), who refers  to The Climate Mobilization Act as #GreenNewDeal4NY, writes:

Intro 1253 is by far the most impactful, transformative piece of legislation. It is a world-first: no city anywhere in the world has set specific limits on climate emissions from already-built buildings that achieve the cuts needed to comply with the Paris Agreement.

In a Tweet from April 18, 2019 NYCC shared the Details of the Bill and 1253 Specifics.pdf

Wide-ranging Legislation

Also see today’s article from Brooklyn Eagle and HuffPost about this wide-ranging climate mobilization legislation.

Congratulations to New York City and to all the community leaders whose hard and persistent work made this important Climate Mobilization Act happen!

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